Three Washburn University students who live in the part of China hit hardest by the coronavirus have been unable to return to class this semester because of travel restrictions resulting from an outbreak of that disease, Washburn students, faculty and staff were told in an email this week.

None of those students are ill, but restrictions are keeping them from leaving their homes at Wuhan, a city of 7 million in Hubei Province, Washburn public relations director Patrick Early said in the email sent Monday.

"We hope that the travel restrictions will be lifted in the near future so that they can rejoin their classes," Early said. "Our faculty will stand ready to help them catch up if the delay isn't too long."

Meanwhile, Early added, a group of Chinese high school students from the Quzhou-Jinhua region — more than 600 miles from Wuhan — were scheduled to proceed with their plans to make a "long-planned visit" this week to Washburn.

Those teenagers "are boarding students confined to the school with little access to the general public during their entire semester and there were no confirmed cases in the area when the students left for their trip," Early said.

In addition, he said in Monday's email, those students and the faculty members accompanying them:

• Were carefully screened before being allowed to leave China.

• Would be screened before they would be allowed to enter the U.S.

• Would be in the U.S. four days before they visited Washburn, and would continue to be monitored during that time. It wasn't clear specifically what day they would be visiting Washburn.

Early said Wednesday that as far as he knew, all the students had been successfully cleared to enter the U.S.

The fast-moving coronavirus has killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000 others in China, most of them in Wuhan. Ninety-one cases have been confirmed outside of mainland China, including five in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has investigated 165 potential cases in 36 states. Of those, 68 tested negative, while 92 remain pending.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Tuesday it was investigating a possible case of the coronavirus in Douglas County.

The patient involved was being held in isolation at a hospital as a precaution and wasn't severely ill, KDHE Secretary Lee Norman said in a news release.

That person returned to the U.S. within the past two weeks after being in Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began last month, Norman said.

The Shawnee County health department announced in a news release Wednesday that it was monitoring the coronavirus and had posted information about it on its website.